US: New Christmas hot toy list released

Top toys list this year made up mostly of products costing less than $80.
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Industry veterans Jim Silver and Christopher Byrne, released the list as they launched a toy website on Wednesday called www.timetoplaymag.com, after almost ten years of creating a similar hot list for Toy Wishes magazine.

The pair believe the trend for cheaper gifts this year is a sign that consumers are looking for value in the lead up to the festive season.

Silver, who is the editor-in-chief of toy-trade publisher aNb Media, said: "Parents don't look for bargains in terms of cheap, they look for price value. They don't mind spending $200 for an iPod. They don't want to spend even $10 if they don't find value."

The new Elmo Live feature plush from Mattel and Spinmaster’s Bakugan will be among childrens' "most wanted" this holiday season, according to the list.

The Bakugan range will cost as little as $5.99 in the US. Byrne explained: "That's a phenomenon we started looking at with Pokemon when it first came out. The hot toy is not prohibitive. Whatever the individual family's economic situation is, (the kids) have the cool thing."

Toys like Hasbro's U-Dance, a motion-based dance game for $74.99 that connects to the TV, reflects a similar popularity of reality shows in the US as in the UK.

Silver said: "Look at the success of dancing shows on television. Look at 'So You Think You Can Dance' and 'Dancing with the Stars.' Dancing is hot."

The top 16 toys, arranged according to age:

Laugh & Learn Smart Bounce and Spin Pony (Mattel)
Elmo Live (Mattel)
V-Motion Active Learning System (VTECH)
TAG Reading System (LeapFrog)
Hot Wheels Turbo Driver (Mattel)
Star Wars The Clone Wars Clone Trooper Voice Changer Helmet (Hasbro)
Bakugan (Spin Master)
Furreal Friends Biscuit, My Lovin' Pup (Hasbro)
MagNext (Mega Brands)
Clickables (Techno Source)
Eye-Clops Night Vision Goggles (Jakks Pacific)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Lego)
U-Dance (Hasbro)
Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker (Jakks Pacific)
Guitar Hero World Tour (Activision)
Rock Band 2 (Harmonix)

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